« ForrigeFortsett »
Saith Henriquez of a Maiden of low Condition, objecting his high Quality: What have his Comparisons here to do? Correct it boldly,
Throw all my gay Caparisons aside,
Act 2. SCENE I.
O that a Man
Read this feruir of the Blood,
Act 4. SCENE 1. How his Eyes shake Fire said by Violante, observing how the lustful Shepherd looks at her. It muft be, as the Sense plainly demands,
How his Eyes take Fire ! And measure every Piece of Youth about me! Ibid. That though I wore Disguises for some Ends.
She had but one Disguise, and wore it but for one
ACT 4. SCENE 2.
False Grammar I'm sure. Both can relate but to
This I fear is of a Piece with None but itself can
This Double Falfhood was vindicated by Mr. Theo-
Writers living, and dead, he has so often had a Fling of Satire at me. I should be very willing to plead Guilty to his Indictment, and think as meanly of myself as he can possibly do, were his Quarrel altogether upon a fair and unbiass’d Motive. But he is angry at the Man ; and, as Juvenal says, facit Indignatio Versum. In my Attempts to restore Shakespear, I laid open some Defects of his Edition. I endeavoured in my Book to treat him with all the Deference and Tenderness, that the Circumstance would bear; and no Body, I think, has impeached me of the least Failure in this Point. But to set any Thing right, after Mr. Pope had adjusted the whole, was a Presumption not to be forgiven! Hinc illoe Lacryme. That I have been right, in the Main, in my Corrections, is pretty well agreed on my Side : And I am almost apt to to think, Mr. Pope has been of the same Opinion; or he would have shewn them trifling, and impertinent, by a Confutation, unless it was beneath him to enter the Lists with so weak an Adversary.
Instead of a Reply, or a Justification of his own Indolence, his Resource is to railing: Or as it were, (after the French Manner of punishing, when a Criminal is out of their Reach) to hang me up in Effgy. But I forgive his arch Talent of Picturing : He thall represent me as an Eel, or a Swallow, a Grub, or a Worm; or in any other Form of Ridicule, that may serve to allay a future Fit of Spleen. If Infirmity may be thrown off by such pretty Exercise, his wayward Humour shall have the full Scope of Calumny. But as he has been pleased to reflect on me in a few Quotations from a Play, which I had lately the good Fortune to usher into the World; I am there concern'd in Reputation to enter upon my Defence. There are three Passages, you'll observe, in B +
his Art of Sinking in Poetry, which he endeavours to bring into Disgrace, from Double Diftress, as he calls it : Icuppose he means Double Falshood; for that is the Title of the Play published by me. I should have expected from some others, that, when they were upon the Business of finding Fault, they fhould not have commited such an Error. But 'tis meer Word-catching, and beneath a great Genius to be exa£t in any Thing.
One of these Passages, alledged by our critical Examiner, is of that Stamp, which is certainly to determine me in the Class of his profound Writers : For a genuine Writer of the Profound will take Care never to magnify any Object without clouding it at the fame Time. The Place, fo offensive for its Cloudiness, is this.
-The Obscureness of her Birth Cannot eclipse the Lustre of her Eyes, Which make her all one Light.
I must own, I think, a Man needs be no great Oedipus to solve the Difficulty of this Passage. Nothing has ever been more common than for Lovers to compare their Mistresses Eyes to Suns and Stars. And what does Henriquez fay more here than this, That tho’ his Mistress be obscure by her Birth, yet her Eyes are so refulgent, they set her above that Disadvantage, and make her all over Brightness ? Now wherein is this Thought fo wonderfully magnified, or clouded? The only Obscurity, that I can yet find in the Passage, is in Mr. Pope's clouding it by Misunderstanding. For if he will take a simple Description of Beauty to be the Description of a Lady at Dinner, as he is pleased to do here, there is, indeed, something of the Boeotian Fog in the Case. I remember another Rapture in Shakespear, upon a
Painter's drawing a fine Lady's Picture, where the Thought seems to me every whit as much inagnified, and as dark at the first Glance.
-But her Eyes
This Passage is taken from the Merchant of Venice; and if the Examiner will not allow it to be dark, I'll venture to produce another out of the fame Play, that, I believe, every Body will agree to be so. Grat. My Eyes, my Lord, can look as swift as yours: You saw the Mistress, I beheld the Maid ; You lov’d; I lov'd for Intermision. No more pertains to me, my Lord, than you.
If I did not know a little more of Shakespear, than Mr. Pope has yet convinced the Publick that he does, I should, from such Instances, take him to be a very cloudy Writer. It were worth something, methinks, to know what Ideas Mr. Pope had of Gratiano's loving for Intermiffion. Surely, he will hardly persuade us, that Intermission here means for want of something else to do, because he would not stand idle. By a proper Variation in the Pointing, and a very short Comment, I'll undertake to clear up the Clouds of this dark Place; and thus it must be corrected, before it can be understood, Grat. My Eyes, my Lord, can look as swift as yours; You faw the Mistress, I beheld the Maid : You lov’d; I lov’d: (For Intermiffion No more pertains to me, my Lord than you. . į. e. For, in a Love-Adventure, I could no-more stand out, no more be idle, or unactive, than you.